University of Notre Dame

The Bible in English Literature

Course Number: ENGL 13186-4
Instructor: Susannah Monta

This course will focus on the biblical stories and themes that resonate throughout literature in English. We’ll read some of these stories (creation and fall, the exodus from Egypt, the nativity stories) and reflect on some of these themes (including justice and mercy, the role of women in the Bible, salvation and atonement, and exile and return) in English literary works from the seventh century to the twenty-first. Some of the authors we’ll read will be William Shakespeare, John Milton, T. S. Eliot, John Donne, Marilynne Robinson, Anne Sexton, John Berryman, Phyllis Wheatley, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gerard Manley Hopkins. By the end of this course, you’ll have a good understanding of the many ways English literary traditions draw on and transform their biblical inheritance; you’ll know the differences between quotation, allusion, and echo; you’ll be able to talk and write about theories of intertextuality; you’ll learn how to read poetry well; and you will develop your skills as a writer, preparing yourself for the rest of your academic career at Notre Dame.

View All Events
UPCOMINGEVENTS